HOUSTON – May 11, 2018 – Culminating months of preparation and work on the part of Spring ISD art students and their teachers, 12 district high school students qualified for a trip to the 2018 State Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE), April 27-28 in San Marcos, where two Spring ISD students went on to win Gold Seal awards – the highest honor awarded during the state-level event sponsored by the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA).
“To have not one but two VASE Gold Seal winners this year from Spring ISD – both from different schools and different art programs – is something we’re incredibly proud of,” said Spring ISD Director of Performing and Visual Arts Dr. Joe Clark. “The fact that we doubled the number of state qualifiers for this year’s high school VASE contest gives an idea of the overall strength of our visual arts programs and shows how we’re growing and improving those programs to serve our students.”
Representing art programs at Dekaney High School, Spring Early College Academy, Spring High School and Westfield High School, all 12 students had advanced through both regional and area rounds of the contest before qualifying for the state event, where art students from across Texas have the opportunity to present and have their work evaluated by certified TAEA jurors. During the two-day gathering, students also get the chance to attend professional-led workshops, lectures, demonstrations and other educational events.
Victoria Crowder, a sophomore at Spring Early College Academy, and Fernanda Herrera, a senior at Westfield High School, saw their works included among only 150 Gold Seal winners statewide. For this year’s contest, some 35,000 pieces were entered in regional events, with 2,200 entries eventually qualifying for state.
For Crowder, it marks her second State VASE Gold Seal. Last year, as a freshman, she was the only Spring ISD student to bring home the event’s top honor.
Both Crowder’s and Herrera’s artwork will join the traveling VASE exhibition making its way around Texas during the summer and fall of 2018 and culminating in a special exhibition at the annual TAEA Fall Conference.
Another feature of each year’s event are student portfolio reviews, conducted by representatives from national art and design schools, colleges and universities. During the portfolio reviews, participating students are offered valuable feedback on how to present their work as they hone their materials for college applications.
The TAEA, founded nearly a century ago as an advocate for the arts and arts education in Texas, has overseen the VASE program since its inception. “The mission of the TAEA Visual Arts Scholastic Event,” according to the group’s website, “is to recognize exemplary student achievement in the Visual Arts by providing art students and programs a standard of excellence in which to achieve.”
The state qualifiers this year from Spring ISD, together with their art teachers and artwork titles, are:
Dekaney High School (Desmond Rodney, art teacher)
- Jannell House (Grade 12); Artwork Title: “Undying Love”
- Kherryn Lapuz (Grade 12); Artwork Title: “Self Reflection”
- Ismael Perales (Grade 12); Artwork Title: “Reintegration”
Spring Early College Academy (Val Hassel, art teacher)
- Victoria Crowder (Grade 10); Artwork Title: “Splat” (Gold Seal Winner)
Spring High School (Adrian Macris and Sheridan Hobson, art teachers)
- Mackenzie Berryman (Grade 10); Artwork Title: “Arivarasu”
- Jasmine Losoya (Grade 11); Artwork Title: “Head in the Clouds”
- An Nguyen (Grade 10); Artwork Title: “Second Chance”
- Timothy Ramirez (Grade 10); Artwork Title: “Hecate”
- Savanna Weaver (Grade 11); Artwork Title: “Together in Nature”
Westfield High School (Samara Gilliam, art teacher)
- Oralia Cantu Valdes (Grade 12); Artwork Title: “Special Oddities”
- Fernanda Herrera (Grade 12); Artwork Title: “Donquixote Doflamingo” (Gold Seal Winner)
- Ayanna Winston (Grade 9); Artwork Title: “Simplistic”